It's been over a week since the 2012 ABS 13 Youth National Championships in Colorado Springs so it's probably a good time to post something about it. This was the fourth ABS Nationals that I've coached at and I can say hands down it was the best one yet! For the second year in a row we had really nice comp style walls and I'm happy to see the events being held in bigger non-climbing gym venues. This years walls were built by our hometown companyEntreprises. The walls looked great and I'm still digging the inclusion of slab in the big comps.
This ABS season we had two team members qualify for nationals with one making the long trip out to CO. Lukas Strauss-Wise represented the Bend Endurance Academy in his third straight ABS Championships. The comp was three days long with qualifiers, semi-finals, and finals. Lukas just squeaked by qualifiers with a 13th place finish on the first day. Coming back the next day Lukas made sure he was jazzed to climb and it showed with his 3rd place finish on day two. The finals were really tough and Lukas climbed well flashing finals #1. Problem #2 threw him for a loop and he had a hard time making it past a big deadpoint as did the majority of the field. Problem #3 was a bit more steep and powerful he made it about half way. His great climbing deposited Lukas in 4th place in US in the Male C category and made the US team for the second year in a row!
As always is super inspiring and impressive to watch these athletes climb. In the past couple years it's been really interesting to watch the bar keep getting raised in the youth D and C categories and it's hard to imagine what level these kids are going to bring climbing to in the coming years.
Congratulations to all the teams and athletes and thanks for putting on a great show!